Virdhawal Khade and Srihari Natraj created new national records to qualify for the finals of the 50m butterfly and 200m backstroke events at the Asian Games 2018 on Thursday. Khade clocked 24.09sec to top Heat 2 and was placed fifth overall. The effort was better than his own nine-year-old national record which was set with a time of 24.14 at the Asian Championship at Foshan, China in 2009.Also Read - Asian Games Bronze Medallist Swimmer Virdhawal Khade May "Consider Retirement" if Pools Remain Shut
Khade has created two national records at this edition of the Games as he had bettered his own mark in the men’s 50m freestyle — the event in which he narrowly missed a bronze. Also Read - 10th Asian Age Group Championships: India Finish Fourth with 15 Gold, 19 Silver and 18 Bronze Medals
In 200m backstroke event, Natraj moved to the final by improving upon his own national mark with a timing of 2:02.97 which placed him seventh overall. It was better than his previous 2:03.17 mark. At the 2018 CWG, he had managed 2:04.75. Also Read - Jinson Johnson Betters Own 1500m National Record by Winning Silver in Berlin, Qualifies for World Championships
Anshul Kothari, however, continued to struggle as he crashed out of the men’s 50m butterfly. He topped the three-man Heat by clocking 25.45sec but that placed him 28th among 40 swimmers. He was ousted from men’s 50m freestyle earlier.
Khade also had a disappointing result in 100m freestyle event as he finished last in his heat and was placed 43rd overall with a timing of 59.11
Compatriot Aaron Desouza was best in his heat with a timing of 51.50sec but that placed him 27th overall. Also bowing out was Advait Page, who managed a 12th position in men’s 200m backstroke by clocking 2:06.85.
The finals will be held in the evening session.